Department store prices collapse as retailers hope for increased Christmas sales | UK News

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Shops are cutting prices as Christmas approaches amid a crisis on major UK streets, according to a report.

Prices were down 1.8% in November from a year earlier, with fashion and DIY retailers the most likely to have cut back their products, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) store price index. ) -Nielsen.

Overturned by two closures this year, many stores find themselves in dire financial straits and compete for the Christmas business.

The drop in prices last month was led by non-food items, which fell 3.7% after a 2.7% drop in October.

Food prices were 1.3% higher in November than a year earlier, although store price inflation remained low.

Mike Watkins, head of distribution and business insight at Nielsen, said this was because supermarkets were “vying for the wallet of the Christmas shopper when seasonal food and drink sales increased. at the end of November ”.

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The collapse of the high street giants Debenhams and Arcadie this week will have even more frightened the mass distribution chains.

Helen Dickinson, Managing Director of BRC, said: “The people shut down during the lockdown have lost billions of dollars in sales and many are now in dire financial straits.

“The government must not subject these companies to a return to full responsibility for business rates from April 2021, and they must urgently consider extending the moratorium on debt collection beyond January.

“Without such interventions, we will see countless store closings and job losses, exacerbating the crisis in our main streets. ”

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Lockdown: a big blow for businesses

A separate report found that two-thirds of people plan to buy Christmas gifts from independent stores.

Some 43% said it was because they wanted to support the community during the pandemic, according to the report from the British Independent Retailers Association and Starling Bank.

A similar proportion (42%) wanted an original gift selection, while 25% felt that shopping at local stores was more convenient.

The average person who chooses to shop from independent companies will spend around £ 119 on gifts.

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